I have to admit, it took me a little while to get on the Smash book bandwagon. I couldn’t understand why I would go out and buy something I could probably make myself, with pages that already had “backgrounds.” The idea appeared intriguing, but without a focus, I just couldn’t justify the purchase, even if I did have a 50% off coupon.
A few days later, I decided to attempt Project 365, to snap a photo every day of my life for 2012 in order to see the year’s progression in a tangible, visual way. And my brain connected the Smash books I’d coveted and the new project I’d decided to commit to; I purchased the orange, finding the pages to be the least “loud.”
In that most of them are “found” pages, with a few illustrated ones. I didn’t want things and drawings that weren’t my own in my book, but liked the idea of starting off with something other than a white page.
What I’ve found is that using a Smash book is what you make of it. When I began, I enjoyed the laid back attitude that came with it — no pulling out paint or stamps or tons of art supplies. It actually felt relaxing to step into my Smash book to archive my photos.
And no, I don’t put in a photo from every day anymore. I found that a bit too much, as I wasn’t sitting down to work in my book as often as I should (I’m still about a month behind). But as time has gone on, I’ve found that my inner scrapbooker is coming out.
I use rubber stamps and Distress pads. I have tabs and stickers and date stamps. I edge pages. I doodle with watercolors. Everything gets tipped in — the wrapper from an ice cream shared with a friend, the paper I got on the first day of art class, hand-outs from a First Friday outing. Some are tapped in, others stapled, or put in hand-made envelopes. I’m grabbing all the stuff I’ve left behind as my art and journaling’s evolved into something more acrylic-based and less collage & stamping-heavy.
And I love it!
Check out a few of my more-recent and in-progress pages.
Diane also asked about which of the Smash brand products I’ve purchased. While I love a lot of them, I only grabbed what I’d actually use. Here’s a few being used in my book.
Date stamp. I had one of these from Office Max years ago, and thought I’d never use it again, so tossed it one year when cleaning out my studio. What I like about this one is the little sayings next to the date, as well as the price. I discovered one just like this at Hobby Lobby by Dear Lizzy; I may grab that one, too! Dating the photos is important to me, and this just makes it easy. I sometimes pair it with the date stamp from my line at Paperbag Studios.
Dotted tape. C’mon, you know I love washi tape, so when I saw this roll, I had to grab one! It’s cute and just like the washi tape I have from MT (I find it a little less sticky, though…).
Little post-it’s. These are on “found” paper, so they go with my Smash book theme. On each, there’s a little black and white image…they can be weird, but I like them to make the date easier to see on darker pages. They’re only sticky on one side, hence the post-it, so I just roll on some double-sided tape.
Tabs. I originally got these to write the months on to make it easy to find where each started, but I recently saw them attached to photos to write little notes on. You can see something like this in the header over at The Studio.
“Deluxe” book elastic. I don’t know if that’s what it’s really called, but it’s awesome. There’s slots along it to put up to six pens/pencils in so you can carry a bunch with you and know where they are! I actually bought two, one for my Smash book and one for my journal. I do have the basic rubber bands, too…they’re on other journals around my studio!
I hope that helps you guys a bit! I’ve created a gallery under the Journals tab for my Smash book — I’ll probably need to buy a new one before the year’s up! I work on a few spreads a week, and am always trying new things!